Peach Pistachio Summer Guacamole Appetizer

I don’t think these photos do this peach pistachio summer guacamole appetizer justice. It is SO good with the sweet, ripe peaches and the crunchiness of the pistachios. Antonio’s rating of this recipe is bomb dot com and he can be a very harsh critic when it comes to food. I first had guacamole with fruit at Taco Maria at the OC Mix, my favorite shopping and dining center in Costa Mesa. This is not Taco Maria’s guacamole recipe and it doesn’t even begin to give you the full Taco Maria experience so you should definitely check them out. Their food is amazing.

I made a similar recipe for guacamole last fall using pomegranates and it was a huge hit. Now that pomegranates are not in season anymore I decided to try other fruits. This recipe can also be made with pineapple, mangoes, nectarines, or plums.

Summer Peach Guacamole Paleo Gluten Free

Ingredients:
2 Large Avocados
1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
1 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Cilantro
2 Jalapeño Peppers De- Seeded and Chopped (Reduce or eliminate to reduce spice)
Juice of 1 Lime
Pistachios, shells removed
1 White or Yellow *Peach, Peeled and Diced – make sure it’s a ripe peach
Taro Chips, Plantain Chips, Sliced Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Carrots, or Celery

*Note: This recipe can also be made with pineapple, mangoes, nectarines, or plums.

Summer Peach Guacamole Paleo Gluten Free

Instructions:
1. Cut avocados in half and remove seeds.
2. Mash avocado in a bowl.
3. Add juice of 1 lime, 1 Tbsp chopped garlic, 1 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp Cilantro, 1-2 chopped Jalapeños, and stir.
4. Top with pistachios and peach.
5. For paleo serve with Taro Chips, Plantain Chips, Sliced Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Carrots, or Celery

Peach Pistachio Summer Guacamole

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Heirloom Tomato and Peach Caprese Salad

This heirloom tomato and peach caprese salad is definitely not my invention. If you google it you can find so many variations that all look so good. I love this salad so much that I had to share it. Not only is it fun to make and a beautiful presentation, but it’s another salad that I actually like to eat. I am not usually a tomato fan. In pasta dishes or cooked down to a sauce I am ok but don’t really like regular tomatoes on their own. However, I love heirloom tomatoes all summer long and ripe peaches are so delicious when combined with the sweet tomatoes.

There are many varieties of heirloom tomatoes and you can now find them at almost any grocery store. Some taste better than others. They have a shorter shelf life typically than regular tomatoes which is why you often see them a little too ripe in the store. I like to buy mine in the multi-package at Trader Joes and store them in the refrigerator to make them last a little longer even though the flavor is better when you leave them out.

Heirloom Tomato Peach Caprese Salad

Serves 2

Arrange the following on a plate:
1 Heirloom Tomato, Sliced
1 Ripe Peach, Sliced – yellow or white but make sure it’s ripe
Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced
Chopped Basil
Fresh Pepper
Drizzle with Olive Oil
Optional – Drizzle with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Heirloom Tomato Peach Caprese Salad

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Easy BBQ Baby Back Ribs Recipe

These foil wrapped BBQ Baby Back Ribs are starting to become a Sunday night tradition. They are so moist, delicious, and super easy. You really can’t mess them up.

Most BBQ sauces are gluten free, however, some are not. Thankfully many brands are now labeling their sauces when they are gluten free. If the sauce is not labeled gluten free or is homemade there are several ingredients which may contain gluten. Look for ingredients like hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) also called hydrolyzed wheat protein which is a flavoring agent. Also look for worcestershire sauce, natural flavors, and natural sweeteners which may contain gluten.

Easy BBQ Baby Back Ribs Recipe

This is how I modified the recipe and instructions to make them even easier.

Ingredients:
1 Rack of Baby Back Ribs (about 13 ribs) cut in half, membrane removed
1 Cup Gluten Free BBQ Sauce

For the rub:
1/2 TBSP Kosher Salt
2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Crushed Fresh Garlic
2 tsp Dried Thyme
½ tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat grill to 400 degrees
2. Mix the rub ingredients and spread evenly across ribs.
3. Double wrap each half rack of ribs in foil.
4. Place ribs on grill for 1 hour flipping once after 30 minutes.
5. Remove ribs and let sit for 10 minutes wrapped in foil.
6. Remove foil and place ribs directly on grill.
7. Grill for 10-12 minutes turning and basting with the BBQ sauce.

Easy BBQ Babyback Ribs Recipe 5

Easy BBQ Babyback Ribs Recipe 4

Easy BBQ Babyback Ribs Recipe 3

Easy BBQ Babyback Ribs Recipe 2

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Mediterranean Chicken Casserole

I’ve been making these Mediterranean Chicken Packets from Martha Stewart for several years and they are so delicious I decided to turn this recipe into a Mediterranean Chicken Casserole. I have gotten really lazy lately. I have great aspirations of cooking everything I love to eat but just don’t have the energy in my third trimester to cook everything I aspire to. The best thing about casseroles is they have very little hands on time. You just throw a bunch of things in a dish, put it in the oven, and forget about it until the timer goes off. That’s exactly what i’ve done for this recipe to have a great meal with very little time. You can get so much done or just relax and do nothing while dinner is in the oven making itself.

Mediterranean Chicken Caserole

Serves: 4-6
Hands On Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 55 Minutes

Ingredients:
1 lb. Boneless Chicken Breast Tenders
28 oz. Diced Tomatoes Drained
14 oz. Canned Artichoke Hearts Quartered
3 Tbsp Sundried Tomatoes
30 Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives
6 tsp Capers
1 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
1 tsp dried Oregano

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Spray casserole dish with olive oil.
3. Place chicken breast tenders in bottom of pan and season with salt and pepper.
4. In a bowl combine the diced tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers, feta cheese, and oregano.
5. Pour mixture over chicken.
6. Cover dish with foil.
7. Bake covered with foil for 40-50 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.

This is what my casserole looked like before I put it in the oven.
Mediterranean Chicken Caserole

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Avocado Citrus Salad

Avocado Citrus Salad

This avocado citrus salad is fun to make and is a salad you definitely want to eat. So many salads are boring and not appealing but people eat them because they feel like they have to have some vegetables. Salads for me are an opportunity to be creative, have fun, and come up with great flavor combinations that surprise the taste buds. This recipe is a summer variation of my Beet Citrus salad I like to make in the fall. I love the combination of sesame oil with the citrus. It is so refreshing and light plus super easy. A perfect addition for BBQ meals. Summer is definitely my favorite season for cooking. I can’t get enough BBQing and sitting outside to eat when the sun doesn’t set until 8pm. The best part of all is the cleanup because BBQing doesn’t make a big mess in the kitchen.

So many store bought salad dressings contain hidden gluten. It’s best to select brands that are certified gluten free. Also, beware of some vinegars that are based on gluten grains. Blue cheese dressings can potentially contain gluten and cause reactions for some people with gluten sensitivities. I prefer to make my own dressings at home because they are fresh, I know what’s in them, and I can make whatever I feel like having that day.

Here is how you make the delicious salad.

Cut and combine the following:
1 Pink Grapefruit
2 Oranges
1 Avocado
Pistachios (Optional)

For the dressing combine:
1/8 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1/2 Tbsp Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce
1/2 Tbsp Chopped Ginger (I use the pre-made one found in the herb section of the grocery store)

Just pour the dressing over the citrus and avocado right before serving.

Avocado Citrus Salad

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Capella Ixtapa Cucumber Margarita

We had an amazing stay last week at Capella Ixtapa in Mexico. It’s hard to believe we will soon be three instead of the two of us all the time. We are so incredibly excited for our baby girl to arrive and wanted to take one last trip just the two of us while we still could. We loved the Capella Ixtapa so much we left only for about 20 minutes the whole trip to the beach nearby and immediately returned. There was no reason for us to leave the resort. My favorite drink on our babymoon was the non-alcoholic Cucumber Margarita so I asked the bartender to share the recipe with me so I could make the real version after the baby arrives. The non-alcoholic version of this drink is so delicious and refreshing. The bartender didn’t show me how to make the non-alcoholic version so I made my own recipe below. I can’t wait to have the real one in a few months.

Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

Margarita Ingredients:
2″ Piece of Cucumber, Peeled
1.5 oz. Silver Tequila
1 oz. Silver Cointreau Orange Liqueur
1.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Agave to taste

Non-Alcoholic Margarita Ingredients:
2″ Piece of Cucumber, Peeled
2 oz. Fresh Orange Juice
2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Agave to taste

Plus:
3 thin slices of cucumber for garnish
Tajin or Salt for rim of glass
Lime
Ice
Sparkling water (non-alcoholic version only)

Instructions:
1. Muddle the cucumber to get all of the flavor of the cucumber
2. Add the cucumber and remaining margarita ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake with ice.
3. Rub lime on outside of glass and dip into Tajin or Salt
4. Fill glass with ice and pour margarita over ice.
5. Add cucumber slices for garnish

If you don’t want to muddle the cucumber, I made the non-alcoholic version with cucumber, lime juice, orange juice, and agave using a blender instead. After blending and shaking the 3 ingredients I topped it off with sparkling water and it was so delicious.

Enjoy!

Here’s more about our stay at the Capella Ixtapa:
The past couple vacations we have taken have been to Hawaii which we love for the many activities we can enjoy while on vacation. We knew I wouldn’t have the energy to go on big hikes or anything that took a lot of energy so we decided on Mexico. We picked Mexico for this trip because the food is incredibly gluten free friendly and it was a short 3 hour direct flight from LAX. The staff at the Capella Ixtapa went out of their way to ensure the food I ate had no gluten or alcohol. We mentioned my gluten intolerance the 2nd night to one waiter and every server plus the room service staff thereafter knew I had a gluten intolerance and paid special attention to everything I ordered and ate. I cannot recall a better experience anywhere I have stayed.

Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

My favorite meal of the trip was the fish grill on the patio overlooking the ocean which we luckily were able to do twice.

This was the fish selection as we entered the restaurant:
Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

The view from our table was breathtaking.
Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

Our appetizer of guacamole and chips. The hotel also brought this to our room every night around 5pm. For me they brought sliced carrots and cucumber because they couldn’t guarantee the chips didn’t have any flour in them.
Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

This Octopus Salad was delicious and I loved the presentation.
Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

This was my dinner. In addition to the fish I ordered the plantains which were delicious and corn.
Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

Hopefully we will be able to return there again someday. The service was amazing. The food was incredible. It was so relaxing and the perfect vacation for what we were looking for. If you are planning a trip to the Capella Ixtapa and have any questions about our stay, please leave a comment below or email me.

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Cinnamon Apple Scones – paleo and gluten free recipe

Cinnamon Apple Honey Paleo and Gluten Free Scone Recipe

This paleo and gluten free cinnamon apple scone recipe is also refined sugar free and a healthier alternative to just a gluten free scone. I love them. I was craving pastries after seeing so many donut photos this week for national donut day. I didn’t want anything super sweet with sugar in it and could not find a recipe for the few ingredients I had on hand so I came up with this one. The honey acts as a low glycemic sweetener and combined with the vanilla and apple sauce completely satisfied my craving for something healthy and sweet. The apple sauce also acts as a binder and is often used in vegan baking as a substitute for eggs. The apple sauce combined with the flaxseed gives these a texture closer to what you expect from a scone than recipes that only include almond flour. This recipe is perfect for baking ahead and keeping on hand in the freezer. If you are looking for another delicious paleo scone recipe, consider this pumpkin scone recipe I tried recently and also loved.

Makes 8 Scones

Ingredients:

3 Cups Almond Flour
1/4 Cup Flaxseed Meal
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/8 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
2 Eggs
2 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
6 Tbsp Apple Sauce (No Sugar Added)
3/4 Cup Raisins

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Add the almond flour, flaxseed, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to a large bowl and stir to combine.
3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir the dough until well combined. Fold in raisins.
4. Using a large scoop, drop the scones onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly wet hands and gently flatten the tops of the scones. They should be about 1 inch thick.
5. Bake 18-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

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Pina Colada Popsicle Recipe for Zoku

Pina Colada Popsicles Paleo Gluten Free Refined Sugar Free Dairy Free

This is another easy, gluten free, paleo, dairy free, refined sugar free popsicle recipe. I love pineapple especially combined with coconut because the flavor combination makes me feel like I am on vacation on a tropical island somewhere. These Pina Colada popsicles are definitely a party in your mouth even though this recipe doesn’t have alcohol in it.

Pineapples are highly perishable and can be stored at room temperature for one or two days. Once cut, store in an airtight container in the fridge. They can be intimidating if you’ve never cut one before. Here is a great how to video that shows how easy it is to cut a fresh pineapple. Basically you cut off the top, cut the skin off, and then cut the fruit from the inner core. It is much easier and faster plus cheaper than buying the pre- cut. If you still don’t want to try it there’s always the option to use frozen or fresh pre-cut pineapple.

I recommend the Zoku Quick Pop Maker because you can make instant popsicles, but this recipe will also work with traditional overnight popsicle molds.

Combine the following completely in a blender:

1.5 Cups Chopped Fresh Pineapple
1/2 Can Coconut Milk
1/8 Cup Honey

Zoku Time: 8 minutes in freezer
Makes 6 Zoku Pops

Pina Colada Popsicles Gluten Free Paleo Refined Sugar Free for Zoku

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Mango Popsicle Recipe for Zoku

It’s no secret that I love the Zoku Quick Pop Maker. It’s seriously an amazing way to make quick refined sugar free and dairy free desserts. The best part is you don’t need to wait overnight for the popsicles to be ready. Now that it’s starting to get warm I am using it so much more. And, this is my favorite recipe I have made so far. Maybe it’s cravings for the Mango Margarita I can’t have right now? They were delicious and super easy plus so fast thanks to the Zoku.

Mango Popsicles Gluten Free Paleo

Combine the following completely in a blender:
1/2 Fruit of 1 Mango
1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/4 cup Honey

Zoku Time: 8 Minutes
Makes 4 Zoku Pops

Mano Popsicles Gluten Free Paleo 2

Mango Popsicles Paleo Gluten Free

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Watermelon, Feta, Kalamata Olive and Mint Salad

Watermelon Salad Gluten Free Recipe

I am a big fan of non-traditional salads and one of my absolute favorite summer recipes is Nigella Lawson’s Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad. I look forward to summer every year just so I can have this salad. It is exactly as she describes – improbable, savory, and refreshing. The only things I don’t follow in the recipe is I use Kalamata olives and do not include the parsley. I love it with just the mint.

Watermelon Salad Gluten Free Recipe 4

Tonight, I decided to change it up and make these fun appetizer skewers using the same recipe. It’s best to combine everything with the lime juice and then make the skewers to keep the same refreshing flavor as the salad. These skewers make a great appetizer for a dinner party, picnic, or boat food. Nothing says party food to me more than bite sized food on fun skewers. You can buy the adorable Bamboo Skewers on Amazon.

Watermelon Salad Gluten Free Recipe 2

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